Two thousand years ago, Pontius Pilate, the Roman governor of Judea, reproached Jesus’ silence with the following words, “You do not speak to me? Do you not know that I have authority to release You, and I have authority to crucify you?”
Jesus’ response to Pilate’s challenge was clear and direct, “You would have no authority over Me, unless it had been given you from above” (John 19:10-11).
The politics of Jesus are not difficult to understand. He believed that ultimately all power derives from God and that even pagan governors owe their own position of leadership to the Providence of the very God they refuse to acknowledge.
We see this truth manifest everywhere in the Bible. In the book of Daniel for instance, God had to chastise the pagan Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar until he had learned this very lesson, “that the Most High is ruler over human kingdoms and gives them to whomever he wishes” (Daniel 4:32). When the apostle Paul taught the Roman Christians how to submit to the pagan Empire that governed them, he told them to realize that “there is no authority except from God, and those that exist are established by God” (Romans 13:2).
What Jesus told Pilate was true two thousand years ago, and it is still true today. There is an overarching and invisible Providence of God governing the world in which we live. God’s Providential care over His creation includes the determination of who the governing authorities will be. No king, ruler, president, or congressional majority comes to power apart from the One “who works all things after the counsel of His own will” (Ephesians 1:11).
Politically conservative Christians who are disappointed by yesterday’s election results need not be demoralized. Yes, it is true that the House and the Senate will be run by a majority that by and large does not stand for the right to life of the unborn and that opposes defining “marriage” as the union of one man and one woman. It is not true, however, that God’s purposes in the world are being thwarted. God continues to rule, and we should therefore pray all the more earnestly for those whom God has ordained to govern us (1 Timothy 2:1-2).
No matter what your politics are, there is solace in knowing that “our God is in the heavens; He does whatever He pleases” (Psalm 115:3), and that “the LORD has established His throne in the heavens, And His sovereignty rules over all” (Psalm 103:19). So let us lift up our new leaders in prayer knowing that “Whatever the Lord pleases, He does, In heaven and in earth, in the seas and in all deeps” (Psalm 135:6).